Friday, November 19, 2010

Wanda Barzee back on the stand

Editor's note: Deseret News reporters are providing line by line transcripts of much of Wanda Barzee's testimony. This story will be continually updated throughout the day. Also follow us on Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY — Wanda Barzee returned to the witness stand Friday to testify in her husband's kidnapping trial. He is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart. Court resumed at 8:34 a.m.

Clerk: All rise please. Court is in session you may be seated.

Judge: We're here in the case of United States v. Brian David Mitchell. The United States is represented by Felice Viti, Diana Hagen and David Backman. The defendant is present, represented by his counsel Robert Steele, Wendy Lewis, Parker Douglas and Audrey Cook. Sorry. Audrey James. I guess you can call me whatever you want. Let's get the jury.

Clerk: Please rise for the jury.

(Jury enters courtroom at 8:37 a.m.)
Clerk: You may be seated.

Judge: Good morning ladies and gentleman of the jury. Thank you for being here promptly. We appreciate your work. Mr. Mitchell you have constitutional right to be present unless you waive that right and continue to sing. (Mitchell is singing Christmas carols.) We'll ask that he be removed to the room where he can see and hear us. We'll proceed as soon as Mr. Mitchell gets to the room where he can see and hear us and Ms. Barzee is brought in. You will resume the stand, Ms. Barzee and you are still under oath. You may proceed Mr. Steele.

Defense attorney Robert Steele: Thank you your honor. Good morning Ms. Barzee.

Wanda Barzee: Good morning.

Steele: You currently are being treated for mental health problems?

Barzee: Yes.

Judge: Speak up and talk right into the microphone please.

Steele: What treatment are you getting?

Barzee: I see a weekly psychiatrist. I was on Zyprexa, an anti psychotic medication. I was on a anti-depressant in the morning and a sleeping pill at night.

Steele: Do you feel really good?

Barzee: The Zyprexa has been discontinued and I've been having trouble sleeping and I don't think the Trazadone is doing much good.

Steele: But you're feeling well this morning?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: When that microphone makes that popping sound, you are sitting too close.

Barzee: OK.

Steele: You're not being held in prison in Utah?

Barzee: No
Steele: Where are you being held?

Barzee: Cardedell Medical Center, Ft. Worth Texas.

Steele: You were arrested in March 2003?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: How soon after were you treated for mental illness?

Barzee: I was told I had a mental illness, but I didn't see it at the time. It think I was at the Utah State Hospital about six years before I started talking an anti-psychotic and that's when I became competent.

Steele: So that helped you?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: What other support did you receive at Utah State Hospital?

Barzee: When I realized I have a mental illness, my psychiatrist helped me for a while until Jenny was found. And then I worked with her once a week. Also, then I recognized I was depressed and they gave me an antidepressant and I was on that until I was taken to the federal prison.

Steele: You spent a lot of time talking about this case with Jenny, your therapist?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: To help you get through?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: Do you believe Mr. Mitchell has had mental health problems?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: Do you believe Mr. Mitchell believes in his religious ideas?

Prosecution: Objection!

Judge: Rephrase.

Steele: I'll come back to that, that's probably better set up. We left off yesterday in your journey through the land and you talked about organ recitals.

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: How big an event were these to you?

Barzee: Well, I um I'm not sure. I was just trying to be obedient and uh I realized that my inadequacies that I was told that those organ recitals were that they were a foreshadow of what was to come in a future day in the season thereof.

Steele: Were you proud of having given those recitals?

Barzee: Yes. I didn't have a college degree and I saw the Lord's power open up the way to make that possible.

Steele: If, um, what has been admitted?

Judge: Yes, has it been admitted?

Steele: What is this a copy of the whole book?

Barzee: It's a copy of the journey of Brian and I's journey through the land.

Steele: And you wrote this book?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: What is the page in front of you?

Barzee: The music of the program that I played at the recital.

Steele: And at the top it lists an, it lists … Eletta Shirl as the organist. Who is that?

Barzee: When we built the handcart in the Santaquinn mountain, he said we needed a name change and I was called Eletta and he was called David.

Steele: Were you trying to trick anyone or hide from anyone?

Barzee: No.

Steele: This particular handbill, what was this for?

Barzee: The Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion.

Steele: Where was that?

Barzee: Nov. 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Steele: The program was the same at each of the three?

Barzee: Yes, the first two.

Steele: And Bach that standard organ fare?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: Who is your favorite composer?

Barzee: Johann Sebastian Bach.

Steele: There are three others there and I'm not sure how to pronounce them. Who are they?

Barzee: I'm not sure how to pronounce them either.

Steele: They appear to be Mesag, and Messian. Who are these people?

Barzee: They wrote wonderful music that was new horizon music Dr. Bush took me on.

Steele: Did it take you a while to play their music?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: Were you proud of your performance as a musician?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: In addition to the places you have already named, you also went to Florida and California on that trip?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: And you went to Hawaii, isn't that true?

Barzee: Yes.

Steele: How did that come about? You can hitchhike to Hawaii?

Steele: Before we went into Boston, Philadelphia and New York City … our hitchhiking ended and we started taking the train and the bus and

Steele: But how did you get to Hawaii?

Barzee: We um I think we after the organ recital in New York City, we were commanded to go to Ft. Meyers Florida where we spent seven weeks for healing and relaxation and from there we got the money to take a bus to Los Angeles, Calif., and we stayed in a homeless shelter and the commandment was to go to the Welfare Services and we reported in there we waited there all day and told them of our desire to go to Hawaii and they gave us the funds to go. They gave us I don't know how much money and we went to Hawaii and spent three weeks.

Steele: What did you do in Hawaii?

Barzee: We stayed I can't remember the campground, but it was walking distance to the Hawaiian temple.

Steele: Did you spend time at the temple?

Barzee: We went to the temple and went to the visitors center there and there was a missionary to who talked to us for a great deal of time.

Steele: How did you get back?

Barzee: By ministering and getting the money to get back. When Brian started the journey through the land and was instructed to get 300 dollars and we could only get $100 dollars and Brian made a "please help" sign and that's what we used until we got to the Santa Clara mountains.

Steele: What does the phrase "ministering to the poor" mean to you?

Barzee: Brian referred to it as the humble followers of Christ would open up their hearts and give of their sustenance.

Steele: When did you get back to Salt Lake from your trip?

Barzee: When we went journeying through the land?

Steele: Yes I'm sorry.

Barzee: We were journeying during these recitals and going to Hawaii for 20 months before we came back and the Lord said we had a work to do among our families.

Barzee is expected to finish her testimony on the witness stand today in the federal trial of her estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell, accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart.

On Thursday, Barzee testified for about 90 minutes before court ended for the day. She went over mostly background material on how she and Mitchell met and what their first years of marriage were like.

The couple were initially active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mitchell would give Barzee blessings. She said he always seemed fearful, but she didn't know what was causing it.

Barzee and Mitchell were accused of kidnapping Smart from her room in 2002 and holding her captive for nine months before being discovered. Barzee, who for years was found incompetent to stand trial, struck plea deals in both her state and federal cases after her competency was restored. She was sentenced earlier this year to federal prison in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Mitchell again began the day singing Christmas carols before he was escorted out of the courtroom to witness the proceedings from a nearby annex. Mitchell sang "Joy to the World," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Angels We Have Heard On High," and "Silent Night."

Friday is the last day of court before a week-long break for Thanksgiving. The trial is scheduled to run through Dec. 10.

Contributing: Pat Reavy

Comment: Words spoken by Ed Smart

'Sometimes we do not understand where our actions lead us. When we think about what we have done to others, in that moment, we know it is not what we want and are ready for a solution'

I wonder if the Smarts ever think what they have done to others? obviously not, or they would stop this circus but the lies grew too big , even for the Smarts.